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  1. ITV Report

Entrepreneur Martin Shkreli defends raising price of AIDS drug by 5000 percent

Martin Shkreli has sparked global outrage after hiking up the price of the drug. Credit: Twitter/Martin Shkreli

Entrepreneur Martin Shkreli has defended raising the price of a drug used to treat AIDS patients by more than 5000 percent after he bought the rights to the medication.

The founder and chief executive of Turing Phamaceuticals purchased the rights to Daraprim in August and shortly after changed the price of each pill from $13.50 (£8.70) to $750 (£484).

Martin Shkreli, 32, said that he raised the price of the drug Daraprim as his company "needed to turn a profit on the drug".

This isn't the greedy drug company trying to gouge patients, it is us trying to stay in business.

– Martin Shkreli

His move has sparked a global backlash, with many people - including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton - expressing their outrage.

The former hedge fund manager told Bloomberg News that his company was the first to "really focus on this product" for decades and that the research was expensive.

He added that the profits he makes from the drug will help create better medicines in future.

Although Shkreli has come under a lot of criticism, some people have defended his actions on Twitter.

The Infectious Diseases Society of American and the HIV Medicine Association sent a joint letter to Turing Pharmaceuticals earlier in September, criticising the sudden price hike.

The letter said that the steep price increase was "unjustifiable for the medically vulnerable patient population”.